Welcome to the Perham Collection of Early Electronics at History San José

The Perham Collection of Early Electronics is the legacy of radio pioneer Douglas McDonald Perham (1887-1967), an early wireless experimenter and radio broadcaster. Perham, a talented technician, was also a life-long collector. The collection parallels Perham’s career and documents early electronics in the West, particularly the Santa Clara Valley, from the early 1900s to 1960.

Originally maintained at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, California, and transferred to History San José in 2003, today’s collection is the largest museum-held early electronics collection in the Western United States, and includes more than 2,500 objects and 1,200 photographs, and more than 200 linear feet of manuscript collections. Rare books, trade manuals, ephemera and other printed material are also part of the collection.

We welcome your interest in the collection. Please feel free to get in touch at research@historysanjose.org with any questions.